May 2o14 was a busy month for me. Shifting to another apartment, trip to New York etc.
My wife and I visited New York. We stayed in a hotel near by Times Square. Our room was in 24th floor and the view from the window was spectacular.
We reached hotel in the evening and decided to go to Empire State Building which is very close to the hotel. We went up to 86th and 102 floor to see the night view of the New York City. It was really fantastic.
I booked tickets online to Statue of Liberty, We didn’t get a clue on where to take the bus, so hopped in to a taxi and reached the place at 9 am.
The ferry took us to the statue of liberty, the experience was so good when I saw the statue on one side and skyline on the other side. It was mesmerizing to see the lady liberty standing tall and her arm reaching the clouds. The statue is an awesome outcome of Engineering and Art.
We had lunch and visited WTC memorial, roamed around taking pictures of the skyscrapers.
My wife and I reached hotel to took rest for a while. I appreciated myself for booking a hotel in the New York City though it is expensive than booking somewhere cheap and far.
After a short rest, my wife dressed pretty well and I got ready for Madame Tussauds.
Walked on the Brooklyn Bridge then took a subway to central park, but travelled towards the other side :). finally figured it out and took the right subway to central park.
late in the evening, we walked down the streets of New York City. I felt Times Square like T Nagar, Ranganathan street minus the tall buildings and digital billboards. 🙂
Next day, we took a train to New Jersey to catch the flight back to Cincinnati.
New York is a very happening city and we enjoyed it pretty well.
This memorial day weekend I toured smoky mountains – Cades cove in Tennessee and Clingman’s dome in North Carolina with my friends. Our first visit was Cades cove which is an auto tour on the valley and mountain.
Then we returned back to the cabin – Black bear hallow in Townsend.
Next day, we started to Clingmans dome which is about one+ drive. Drive was pretty slow but it was great to see the mountain alongside. There were many scenic spots during the drive. Once we reached the parking area, we had to walk for .5 miles to the dome. It was a steep hike and the view from the dome worths it.
We had a good time here, planning to visit again during Fall.
The trip to Ohio Caverns was nice and simple. The place is not much crowded so I enjoyed my time inside the cave with the crystal stones hanging around me.
I don’t know what this exactly is…May be a Gemstone maker ? 🙂
Entrance to the cave. The treasure is hidden behind the door.
This crystal in the picture below has a history. It’s name was Goodluck Crystal and people were allowed to touch for good luck. In a year the stone turned in to brown due to stain, so they prohibited to touch and renamed it as the Dirty Stone. Goodluck crystal then, Dirty crystal now.
I couldn’t open my eyes for a while after coming out of the cave.
PS: The crystals doesn’t look crystal clear 🙂 because it was shot using my phone camera in low light.
Last saturday, I went to the Wilds, Cumberland, Ohio. It is a wildlife conservation center located on about 10,000 acres. The safari on a open bus was nice. I did not find more animals, but the trip was worth. The pictures below were taken using my phone camera, so it is not that good and I wasn’t not able to take pictures of animal from long distance. May be I should buy a decent camera before my next trip :).
Again, I woke up late today. I left home at 9.30 and I had to walk to office since I left my BumbleBee in office on Friday evening.
Though there is no call (a stupid status call) today, I walked in hurry and tension. I went ahead of the Disney Land and then crossed the yellow VW Beetle – I don’t know why this Yellow Volkswagen Beetle always makes me smile and happy whenever I see it 🙂
In few meters I saw a line of angels crossing the road and coming towards my lane. The empty walking lane is now occupied by Angels. I went nearby them and a gorgeous little girl said Hello and gave a lovely smile. They are elementary school students going somewhere from their school accompanied by two teachers.
One of the teachers told me that I should probably go front as it takes some time for all of them to go.
I said ok and walked forward, but the line started to move again and now I’m in middle of those tiny tots.
I was wearing a backpack and looked like one of those school students. I felt like a grown up kid in the midst of the little angels. Some kids smiled and few felt shy but all were happy walking.
I did not want to split the line so I stood in acorner to let the line move on.
All the kids waved bye and we exchanged smiles. My tension vanished away on their smiles. Then I started to walk slowly enjoying the weather, admiring at the trees, sparrows and the old buildings of the historic Glendale village.
Life is Beautiful!
PS: People ignore the beauty of life in their fast, urgent and busy life. I realized that life is not about achieving success, survival or making money. Life is just about living!
It’s has been a long time since my last post. What was I’m doing on earth without being online?
I was up in the air,
Miles away from home,
Out of my comfort zone.
My Onsite travel was confirmed and i’m supposed to report Cincinnati office on April 17 2012.
I was terribly busy last week and was sick as well(102 degrees, fever). In the same week, I had spent till my credit card limit for shopping and now I’m broke 🙂
My ticket to Cincinnati, Ohio was confirmed just a day before my travel. My flight was on a Sunday night.
I had to catch three flights: Chennai – Dubai – Dallas – Cincinnati. The travel was unpleasant as I wasn’t feeling well.
Here we go…The journey to the US.
Chennai, India – Sunday night:
My mom, bro and my cousin Raj and few relatives came to the Airport to send me off. I waived bye to all and went to get my boarding passes while my family waited inside the airport. I straight away went to immigration where i was not allowed to go back to the waiting room. So I just called them and said bye. My mom instructed me to call whenever possible. I said yes moved forward.
After the security check, I had 45 minutes of waiting time and called few of my friends. I have not informed most of my friends about my travel. I have not called them even in the airport, I felt tired and just sat idle.
Chennai to Dubai:
I sat between a tamil guy and a foreigner. The tamil guy spoke well since we are from the same place. We talked a lot. he talked more about G Force, turbulence etc and sounded like an IIT student, but he is not :D. He also advised me to drink rum and few hot drinks to get rid of cold and fever 🙂 and continued his drink when I said no.
We reached Dubai 30 minutes late. The airport was beautiful and he took photos and videos. I said bye and started moving towards my gate.
Dubai to Dallas:
I was ok till I went in to the flight, but my body temperature raised high in few hours and I fell sick again. I covered my head and slept. when I got up I felt better. I switched on the display and tuned to Air show which shows the location of the flight. I was shocked, It just moved an inch from Dubai. I still have 12+ hours of travel. I drank a lot of hot tea which I’m not used to.I watched movies and slept in all different dimensions. Finally I reached Dallas after an awful 15+ hour journey.
I landed in the US.
The first place I visited in the US is Rest room and the first thing I did was Vomit.
That’s a great way to start right 🙂
My next flight to Cincinnati is after 8 hours.
I waited in a long queue for immigration. I was very tired and even thought of siting on a wheel chair 🙂
I dropped my documents several time while waiting in the line. People looked at me as if I am drunk.
I finally appeared before the immigration officer and got my I-94 stamped on my passport.
Then I took the skylink – train to my terminal. Now I still felt sick and cold. I bought a doughnut to eat and could not finish it. It tasted so bad. I wanted to talk to my mom. I was not able to use my indian sim card here so I purchased a prepaid calling card for 20$, but was not sure how to call :).
I found an old guy standing at the help desk. He looked like James bond wearing a tuxedo hat. I approached him and enquired about my flight. I also asked him on how to make a call with the card I have purchased. He was not sure about that too. So he gave his cell phone to make a call.
I did not want to make a call to india from his cell so I just called my colleague and informed that I have arrived Dallas and will be in Cincinnati around 9 pm.
Then I roamed through the terminal to buy a Hoodie. I found a shop and the girl inside the shop looked beautiful, she looked like an indian but sounded like an american. I went inside to buy the Hoodie. It was imprinted with the words TEXAS,Dallas and USA.
I wanted to try it and approached the girl. She asked me to try right there over my T-shirt and to check the mirror. I liked it and bought it for 22 dollars. I also asked her about the recharge card and she explained me well. Then she asked where I’m from India? I said, I’m from TamilNadu. She smiled and told me that her origin is Kerala and her husband is a keralite too.
My guess was correct 🙂 But she’s married 😦
I moved out of the shop and still 5 hours left. I found a place to sit and fell asleep. I did not care about my luggage. I slept like a monster and got up just 30 minutes before my flight depart time.
I ran to the help desk and they wanted me to go to another gate.
Dallas to Cincinnati:
I boarded in to the flight and it was a short journey. I finally landed in Cincinnati and called my colleague niraj from the pubic phone. He said he will reach in 15 minutes and wanted me to call him again.
I waited near the exit. A man was busy with his laptop and smiled at me when I saw him. I then went back to the public phone to call my colleague, but I did not have enough coins to make a call.
The man saw me and asked ‘Do you want to make a call with my iPhone’ I wondered why people say iPhone instead of just Phone? I said yes and he dialed the number from his phone sorry iPhone 🙂
After the call, I thanked him for his generosity. He asked me which is the largest city in India. I was not sure, but I said Mumbai. He smiled and welcomed me to Cincinnati.He is a gentle man. My colleague Niraj came in few minutes and picked me up. I first wanted his phone to call my MOM. he said its unlimited to India so you can make any number of calls. I just grabbed and called my MOM and informed about my arrival.
That’s all about my journey.
I slept well in the night and went to office the next day. I wake up daily and my colleague will pick me up in the car and drop me in the evening. It has been 5 days in Cincinnati and I have not walked out of my room till now.
So how it is going to be here…Let me see!!
And…this is my 100th post. Great! congrats to me!!
I am not a traveller and I do not own a huge backpack and binoculars. I have not come out of my comfort zone but now I feel like going places that I have never been before. So I’m writing down my top 5 favorite place that I want to visit.
Here we go…
Taj Mahal, Agra
I’m an Indian living in the southern part for 29 years and have not visited Taj Mahal till now. So this is a strictly favorite place 🙂
Ireland is the one place I definitely want to visit. I came to know about Ireland’s beauty from the movie ‘Leap Year’. I fell in love with the islands of Ireland. I may not have sufficient money to go but I will surely travel there someday.
The city of lights and love is one of my favorite place and of course, The Eiffel Tower 🙂
Another Island in my favorite list after Ireland. Lakshadweep is bit easier to reach from south india. I hope to visit this place one day 🙂
I heard about this city and it sounded more like chennai and mumbai :). I may visit this most populous and the busiest city of US.
These are the places I wish to go. Out of these, Ireland is my most favorite.
Hope I will earn some money to visit all these places someday 🙂
It’s a busy evening and I was in a hurry to catch my Bus. I stopped an auto. He asked 150 rupees and then agreed for 140 rupees to koyambedu from T Nagar. I’m not good in bargaining 🙂 so I nodded yes.
Since it’s a Friday evening, the city was full of traffic and the auto had to move inch by inch. He initiated the talk casually by asking which bus to catch, where I’m from etc.… and I answered him one by one.
Auto driver: What is your job?
Me: I’m a software Engineer
Auto driver: oh, are you an IT guy?
Yes, I replied.
Then came the interesting question…
Auto driver: What you guys do?
Me: We develop softwares.
What does that mean? He asked
I was not sure how to explain… then I told him that software is something that runs on hardware.
Say, You have a phone, that phone is a hardware and you need a software to interact with the hardware , to make calls and so and so.
Auto driver: Oh, So you can repair any kind of phones?
Me: No, No. I said that for an example. Just think about the past, we need to stand in a queue in the bank to deposit or withdraw money. But now a days we have ATM. Online transaction, ticket booking, these are all due to IT.
Auto driver: Hmm. I heard that all IT companies would cut down the salaries anytime. Is that true?
Me: Yes, if there is a recession. We may not get a hike this year.
Auto driver: Why, is recession approaching? Will they stop recruiting new people?
Me: Not really, they will recruit for sure. But hikes for us are not certain this year.
Auto driver: You experienced people can strike for that?
Me: Strike? No. It’s a company’s rule/term. You may walk out and move for another job if you are not satisfied.
By the way, forming unions, groups and striking are not a healthy act.
Auto driver: Ok, You came in to this IT without knowing it?
Me: No, I came, because I’m interested. None of the jobs are secured.
Auto driver: But, it is a bit too much in IT industry.
Then we reached the bus stand. I got down and gave him 150 rupees. He said I don’t have a change.
It’s 3.50 am, Saturday morning. I got up 10 minutes before the alarm sounds.
I had enough time to get ready. So I thought of downloading some GPS turn by turn apps from windows market place to my phone which might be helpful during the travel.
I got ready at 6 am to start my journey with my friends Amarnath and Rajiv who will be waiting for me at Guindy. We reached TADA falls check post by 10.30 am and it took 30 more minutes to reach the parking area.
The monkeys and the steel bridge were welcoming us and we are now ready for the trekking which we have been longing for 🙂
We walked on a muddy, bumpy path which did not seem much hard and then had to cross two small streams towards mountains. The water is crystal clear. We also found broken glasses and plastics thrown everywhere by drunkards.
Here comes the actual trekking. Rocks standing tall in front of us 🙂
A few clicks on the way…
We reached an interesting place where we played for a while. There is small water fall at the end of this pond. The water gets deeper when you move on. You can not reach there if you are not good at swimming.
We then moved on from here to see the actual water falls. It was a very tough trekking.
At last we reached this water falls. It’s not a big one, but worth coming here.
It’s 4.30 pm and raining. So we started getting down since it wouldn’t be safe when its gets darker.
I had to climb down from this rock. Risky , Mission Impossible 🙂
Took a snap on the way down (Mango , Fish pool) which is very near to the parking area.
Way back home.
Walking on the bumpy road , Climbing the slippery rocks , Swimming in the purest water…It was a good trip indeed !!